Continuing our in-depth look at 2.0 brings us to the new Galaxy Setup options, as well as the Espionage changes people have been looking for. Again, as with all new things in 2.0, we aren't looking to revolutionize, just to bring these features to a natural completion before work on GCIII begins (which is still a way off, but still looming).
New Galaxy Options
As Brad (Frogboy/Draginol) pointed out in his official Preview of 2.0
, we've gone in and added some options for the Placement of Special Environmental Worlds, as well as the Frequency of traditional Random Events.
When the Environmental Worlds option is cranked up, approximately 75% of the galaxy's habitable worlds will be of an Extreme class (Toxic, Aquatic, etc). This is a great way to play if you like a long, drawn out Exploration phase of the game. Placed at it's lowest setting, the galaxy will only have around 10% of habitable planets requiring special technologies to inhabit, making the Colony rush closer to Dreadlords, but keeping those technologies somewhat vital.
The Random Events setting works in a similar fashion. You can turn them off entirely, or you can set them to happen around 4 times more frequently. This results in a fairly hectic game, where you're never quite sure of your galactic footing.
Changed back in the first 'Dark Avatar' expansion, the new Espionage system enjoyed a love/hate relationship with the players. Some people liked the new options, allowing the placing spys to strategically disable an enemies infrastructure. Other players disliked being forced to perform blatantly offensive maneuvers to gain higher levels of intelligence on their neighbors.
The new system adds 'Empire Wide' spying option to your 'Espionage Details' screen. Here you can place permanent spys on a race, which will gather up information and raise your 'Espionage Level' and unlock more information on them. These spys ONLY gather information (passive in nature), cannot be nullified, and dictate the espionage level that you can reach.
Spys placed on planets will also gather information on a race, but at 1/3 the rate.
We've also added the ability to spy on Minor races. Yahoo!
The Beta Release
Like most things we do, Version 2.0 is going to have a Beta period starting (barring any major problems) next Wednesday, the 26th
of September. For those not playing Mega Man 9
next week (which is what I'll be doing), you'll be able to try your hand at the update, playing with all these fresh new features and helping to ensure the game is still balanced (and stable). This will be released on Impulse, with the final version making it up onto Stardock
Central as well.
Next Wedensday: We wrap up our 2.0 journals with some nice new Negotiation tweaks, Campaign updates, as well as all the dangling improvements that'll make 2.0 rock!